Stories, I have a few. Most of these have something to do with aviation and might even have links in other parts of the website. But some are here just because they amuse me.
- 1974 — The Man Who Invented Lift
- 1974 — Day One
- 1974 — The Harmon Rule of Error
- 1976 — Lock and Load
- 1977 — Caffeinated
- 1977 — Attitude determines altitude (1977)
- 1979 — Learn early
- 1979 — Ice-T
- 1979 — Air Mass
- 1979 — Single Spin Recovery
- 1979 — Getting a Little Cross With the Winds
- Course Intercepts
- 1979 — In a Fix
- 1979 — Everybody has an angle
- 1979 — Landing Speed
- 1979 — The Last Thirty Seconds of Your Life
- 1979 — Duck Soup
A story about Daniel Bernoulli and how he discovered the formula for lift.
My first day as an Air Force ROTC cadet and all about the word "sir."
An engineering classmate's way of dealing with errors.
"You are a marksman."
Thirteen cups of coffee.
In and out of the cockpit.
This lesson makes intuitive sense, of course; but it took Air Force pilot training to drive it home.
Air Force pilot training; it all starts with ground school.
Ejection seat training, parachutes, and more ground school.
Flying an airplane designed to spin its way to the ground; sometimes the smartest student fails.
Exceeding crosswind limits generates some math.
Flying instruments without a flight director.
The ancient art of fix-to-fix navigation.
All about angle of attack (AOA), a staple of military aviation.
When you have an approach speed of 150 knots and your brakes are fragile carbon disks, landing speed is critical.
For some, the final turn in the T-38 really was final.
Losing an engine at V1, even in a T-38, can be easy if you train for it.
1980 to 1989
The 1980s include my time as a KC-135A copilot; my progress from EC-135J (Boeing 707) copilot, to instructor, to examiner; as well as my time in the E-4B (Boeing 747) as a copilot, aircraft commander, instructor pilot, and functional check pilot.
- 1980 — Climb Gradient
- 1980 — It's Magic
- 1980 — Air Refueling Rendezvous
- 1980 — Know Your Limitations
- 1980 — Penetrations
- 1980 — Under Duress
- 1981 — Leper Crew
- 1981 — "You gotcher handsfull buddy!"
- 1981 — A Practiced Calm
- 1981 — No Time to Nap
- 1982 — Vintage Gallo
- 1982 — Fuel Leak
- 1982 — Burner Can
- 1982 — Seriousness
- 1982 — Top of Descent
- 1983 — Visual Descent Points
- 1983 — Tutti Fruit
- 1984 — Rapid Depressurization
- 1984 — You Can't Go Unless You've Been
- 1984 — V1 Engine Failure
- 1985 — 60 to 1
- 1985 — There is only so much you can do.
- 1985 — Danger Dave
- 1985 — Fat Boy
- 1985 — Salute Smartly Volume 1
- 1985 — When you don't know what to do, do the work in front of you.
- 1986 — Wrong Airport
- 1986 — Traffic Pattern Geometry
- 1986 — Holding Pattern Teardrop Angle
- 1986 — Maximum Range
- 1987 — The Pareto Principle
- 1987 — Engineers
- 1988 — No Pulse
- 1989 — The angle of the view sometimes determines the view itself
- 1989 — Happiness takes effort
In the tanker our objective was to "scape paint," but the story takes it to the standard Part 25 rules.
Most people don't think about this, but the first time you realize you landed that airplane from an approach at minimums, it might as well be magic.
"Noo - clee - ar combat, toe to toe with the Rooskies."
I flew halfway around the world with a pilot who didn't understand his engines could only be pushed so far.
Back in the day . . . if you wanted to get from very high to very low, you needed an anchor.
"Use of deadly force authorized" and other cheery thoughts.
Getting assigned to the Leper Crew and teaching the Leper how he got his spots.
How I survived the mother of all windshears.
How I learned Rule Number 3.
Why you should never fall asleep at minimums.
Learning to appreciate the pilot everyone loved to hate.
Losing fuel between Hawaii and Alaska.
The "engine a month" club.
The infamous "Bruce" story.
Math: if you have to make it hard, at least make it simple.
Figuring your own VDPs made simple.
How Lieutenant Tuttie Fruiti beat a cabin fire.
The "old man" faces a rapid-d.
Shemya, the first time.
The third time was the last. (I hope.)
Air Force pilots like to say "60 to 1" is based on science. It isn't. But it still works.
Safety school, marathons, and the "F-word."
When the rest of the world has gone insane, sanity becomes rare and, therefore, priceless.
Six-foot-one, 135 pounds, and fat.
An unpublished manuscript.
Deciding what to do next.
Even a Boeing 747 ends up at the wrong airport, now and then.
Bringing math to the traffic pattern.
Turning (difficult) math into (easy) rules of thumb.
Squeezing every air nautical mile of range out of every drop of gas.
20% of your effort impacts 80% of what matters, but 80% of your matter only impacts the remaining 20% of what matters.
You can always tell an engineer, you just can't tell him much.
Cancer beaten. For now.
Everybody loves the pilot except the crew and Rule Number 22.
Some call it "the grass is always greener." I call it Rule Number 8.
1990 to 1999
The 1990s include tail end of my Boeing 747 time, "Colonel Charm School," the 89th Airlift Wing, and my time in Germany.
- 1990 — Deck Angle
- 1990 — Discipline
- 1990 — Not every battle is worth fighting
- 1990 — "I've Never Been So Scared" Part II
- 1990 — "A Bigger Screw Up"
- 1991 — "Test Pilot"
- 1991 — Risk is necessary
- 1992 — Block Times
- 1992 — Smoothness
- 1992 — That Looks About Right
- 1993 — Trust but verify
- 1993 — Integrity versus Loyalty
- 1993 — Cold War
- 1993 — Meaconing
- 1993 — Deal With It
- 1993 — Fuji San
- 1993 — Experto Crede
- 1994 — Survival Driving in Italy
- 1994 — Leadership
- 1994 — The Non-Instrument Napkin
- 1995 — Shot At
- 1996 — Surviving a Bureaucracy
Figuring out where the wheels will touch
The "I'm blind!" story.
The birth of the "Eddie Haskel" name, and Rule Number 6.
Part II takes place 11 years before Part I and comes from a friend of Eddie.
Eddie buzzes a football stadium
"Dysfunctional" flights and Rule Number 14.
Sometimes you have to stick your neck out; Rule Number 18.
Repeat after me: don't try this.
How to be smooth (and not a jerk).
TLAR meets its match.
You can never be sure who to trust.
My favorite Air Force officer offers us Rule Number 9.
The Union of Fewer and Fewer Republics.
Trigger fingers at the ready.
The five stages of grief and a spectrum of causes.
Climbing Mount Fuji.
When training really does pay off.
Originally published in the 1950s, this reappears every now and then. (It's worth it.)
Leading by example does no good if nobody notices.
Yes, you read that right. They flew to minimums off a napkin.
Air combat in a Gulfstream?
A brief staff tour with lengthy lessons.
2000 to 2009
My first three civilian jobs, or was it four?
- 2000 — "I've never been so scared" Part I
- 2001 — Another Shot?
- 2001 — The Worst Pilot
- 2002 — Our Best Pilot
- 2002 — Sometimes Thoughts Are Best Unspoken
- 2004 — The Medical Hobby Shop
- 2005 — Parlez Vous Aeronautic
- 2007 — PhotoShop
- 2008 — Adventures in De-icing
- 2008 — Futebol in Rio
- 2008 — On Safari in Botswana
- 2009 — Stan Evil
- 2009 — Drift Up
They almost lost the airplane, no wonder he was scared.
Another shot of Scotch. What can go wrong?
Yes, someone has to have the title.
If that's true, why didn't they know my name?
Biting your tongue and Rule Number 21.
Doctors need currency too, but at the expense of your medical?
"Why do you think I am talking to you in this ridiculous accent?"
Taking unreasonable risks with PhotoShop.
Why does it cost so much to deice at Gulfstream V?
The most fun I've had in a stadium.
I've been on a lot of safaris, this was the best.
The top five check ride busts.
The Brand X Simulator Company owes me a case of wine.
2010 to Present
My latest (and last?) job as a pilot.
- 2010 — Todd Silver
- 2011 — April Snow
- 2015 — Old Man
- 2016 — A Question of Balance
- 2017 — Medevac, from Adrian Vargo
- 2017 — Vacation, Alaska and Japan
- 2018 — Favorite Movies
- 2018 — Stupid Pilot Tricks
- 2018 — Check Ride Nerves
Living in New Hampshire.
How I learned I was an old man.
How do you balance your personal life with your job as a professional pilot? (Rule Number 10.)
Saving lives with a C-17.
The Lovely Mrs. and Eddie's most excellent adventure.
45 (and counting) movies about aviation, rank ordered.
Some stupid things pilots do (including me).
Learning to deal with your nerves during a check ride pays dividends in the "real" world.